Beyond the Obvious: Lusaka, the Capital of what?

By Davies Chilufya

Lusaka is our capital city, but also the capital of everything else. Here everything goes, especially if you look beyond the obvious. Obvious things are those statements we hear every day from those in authority when they need our sympathy. Statements like government will mitigate the impact of load-shedding by importing power into the country. Or that government will remove cadres from stations, but time passes and nothing changes. You know you don’t believe them but they have all the government machinery at their disposal. They use their privileged position to make us believe everything they say. But you need to look beyond the obvious.

Little do they tell us that crime in our capital is ever soaring. White color crime reigns supreme; and people swindle government and swindle each other. It’s the only place I know where someone can build houses and still remain unknown to the authorities. What a capital!

Houses and shops have become universities and colleges that churn out fake degrees and diplomas. Lusaka is the city of prophets and all sangomas from Mununga have come to camp here. Government sponsored prophets decree doom to those who do not align with authorities.

In Lusaka, sangomas compete with men of God. When men of God publicise a church event, sangomas will also advertise their services: they range from hip enlargement, winning lottery or finding lost property or bringing back runaway spouses, lovers. Now Lusaka has a lot of runaway spouses. With the harsh economic times, people will continue to run away from their spouses. But in Lusaka, you can run away from one problem and still find yourself in another tricky situation. Like those who ditch one political party to join another one. But they later realise that their new party has its own rough edges. The party constitution is tailored to favour only the top man. By the way, Lusaka has a lot of top men. Like the mayor of the city, who’s struggling to keep the city clean.

But does our city mayor know that Lusaka is also the capital of filthy? Garbage and junk is all over, except where there’s no space. Because there’s no space that is space in Lusaka. All is taken by one crude structure or another. It could be a vendor selling masuku near a leaking pipe, or a Lebanese building a semblance of a supermarket which will retail everything from condoms to plastic toys for children. Next you find public refuse bins overflowing with trash as street kids fight to find something looking like food.

O, come on, why do you think Lusaka is our capital city? Of course, you know, it’s because it’s the seat of our political power play. Which play sometimes turns into brawls. Which when daggers are drawn, blood spills.
At Inter City, the station of political thugary, here you don’t raise your fist anyhow, unless you want to punch someone in the nose.

But how do we make Lusaka civil again? By removing politics from Lusaka. But how possible is this if politics is the livelihood of some of our people today? I have a suggestion. We can suspend politics for five years, get all politicians and place them in a zoo. Then we hire an animal trainer to train our one time lawmakers to ape animals. The Ministers can be turned into clowns and trained to mimic animals. All members of parliament from Northern, Luapula and Muchinga can be trained to mimic rodents while their cousins from Eastern Province can pretend to be apes. How about that? Then we can have someone to be Shrek. Who do you think this one could be? You can inbox me, if you fear to be clobbered. We can raise some revenues by charging pay per view to watch these guys. Believe me, it can be great!

After we have swept Lusaka clean of politicians, we can then go ahead and start running our affairs free of them. Which means we become our own bosses. When this experiment has worked after five years, we can then revert to democratic voting processes and tell those wanting to stand that they would be turned into clowns if they mess with our lives. That way everyone will behave. Trust me.

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